I don’t mean books I own/ed. I mean the public libraries I grew up visiting.
It seems like the public libraries here have much more of a focus on bringing in new books. They’ll have three new books by one of my favorite authors, written in the past few years, but none of the books by the same author that I read when I was little. And don’t get me wrong, I love getting new books to read, but… so many books that I loved, but never owned, I can’t possibly buy them all, and if the libraries don’t have them, how am I ever going to reread them?
Some of it is just nostalgia, but also– I know I was too young for a lot of the books I read. I got a lot out of them, but unquestionably there were things I missed, and things I would see differently now. I want to go back and find out! I want to remember all the details I’ve forgotten and find even more.
There were a few books in the children’s section– not the teen section, the young children’s section that’s organized into picture books and chapter books, and all the shelves are shorter– books that I first read when my age was in the single digits, that I used to go back and reread, every once in a while, when I was in high school. It was all there if I ever wanted to remember it. When am I ever going to see those again?
And that experience of walking down the aisles and knowing exactly where to find all my favorite books, and the books that happen to be shelved next to them that I never read but whose spines I remember. Having a routine for where I would go and what shelves I would look at. Recognizing the names of, essentially, all the books I’d ever read, all still there where I’d first found them. I miss my library!